How Does Genre Influence Writing?
Personal experience is a basis for how an individual interprets their ideas and perceives the world. It can be the background from which many writers are inspired, and also a reason why they may take a certain stance on a topic or idea. In the memoir, Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood by Richard Rodriguez and the academic essay, An Unusual Feast by Derek Hicks, both authors use personal experience\'s to help convey their ideas in a manner that best suites their respective genre\'s. Although, Hicks did an excellent job with his personal anecdote because it established a basis and reason for his writing of the paper, from my perspective, Rodriguez\'s argument used a little too much personal experience and little to no statistical or factual evidence in order to support his claim, which made it come off as a rash, unjustifiable argument. It is interesting to note that both of these authors speak on the subject of assimilation but because of different personal experiences they both have conflicting views on the idea of assimilation. This essay will answer the question: to what extent can personal experience and/or personal anecdote help or hinder an authors credibility and/or reliability as a writer and how can a respective genre influence the likelihood of having a more bias argument?
An Unusual Feast written by Derek S. Hicks, is an academic essay taken from the book Religion, Food and Eating in North America that was published in 2014 by Columbia University Press. With the use of a personal anecdote, Derek Hicks conveys the background and cherishable meaning behind his composition. Those being his African American heritage, his personal experience growing up around "soul food" and the way one unique food dish can have such a significant impact on ones soul. He explores the importance of foodway studies and the complexity of the historical African American dish, gumbo, in terms of how it can be a direct correlation to the religious beliefs, history and community of African American culture and also a metaphor for American society\'s predisposition to problems dealing with assimilation verses acculturation.
Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood written by creative writer, Richard Rodriguez, is an excerpt taken from his own book Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez published in 1982. Written in the first person, Rodriguez gives a recollection of his life growing up in America as a bilingual Mexican American. He explains why his lose of family ties, revival of those ties and his assimilation helped him grow as a person. As a result of his experiences, throughout the memoir he argues against the idea of schools giving children a "bilingual education" because he believes assimilation is a necessity if one wants to have a public identity and be able to prosper in society.
In An Unusual Feast, Derek Hicks introduces his essay by use of a personal anecdote. He recollects his childhood memories of growing up with his friend who used to give him a hard time about not enjoying his grandmother\'s annual gumbo. While as a child he did not enjoy the taste, he states that as he grows he "…would learn by experience the magnitude of gumbo preparation and sharing as tied to tradition, culture, and religious fellowship"(Hicks). This statement gives a very crucial trademark to the rest of his paper; he gives a strong idea of what is to be expected from the rest of the work. Hicks\' use of personal experience in his academic essay seems to be a good one. He does not impede his credibility; he gradually builds it by explicitly drawing attention to his knowledge and presence in his argument. It is also wise to note that, after the first section in his essay he uses a limited amount of experimental evidence markers, suggesting that he believed he had clearly brought his presence forth in his writing, and could from then on justify his claims made by using more factual evidence and research. There also seems to be little bias in his argument, other than his close relation to the topic, he attempts to make a strong argument based on his investigation of historical, social science and anthropological studies.
In consideration to this being